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Can I charge my electric vehicle for free?

Free electric car charging is a bonus of living with an electric car

EV charging

Is electric car charging free?

Free electric car charging is one of the many reasons that an electric vehicle (EV) can be a tempting option.

Even if you can’t always rely on free car chargers to stay boosted, charging an EV does often work out cheaper than filling up with fuel.

It’s an added bonus that you can grab a free charge here and there – something that you definitely can’t expect if you drive a fuel-powered car!

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How to find free electric car charging points

Finding free electric car charging stations isn’t a hard task – in fact, there are apps and websites out there that will do it for you.

It’s a good idea to use one of these tools ahead of time to track down your closest free EV chargers, or ones that you can expect to pass on your next road trip.

It’s important to remember that free chargers are often slower and are usually in high-demand, so you might want to pick some back-up charging locations if you can’t locate a free one.

Where are the free electric car charging stations?

On average, you’re more likely to find fast and slow chargers that are free to use compared to rapid chargers. While rapid chargers are more convenient, you might be willing to go for a slower charge if that means you’ll be saving money.

You’ll often find free chargers at attractions that are trying to entice customers. Places like museums, zoos, theatres and leisure centres, for example, may have charging points that are free to use while you visit. Some pubs, restaurants and cafes are also getting on board with free EV charging – check online in your area to see the best options.

Supermarkets and shopping centres are usually a good option too, so you can get a top-up while you shop.

Hotels and bed and breakfasts are also likely to offer free charging – just check before you make a booking so you can save money on charging while you stay.

One of the best options for hunting down a free charge point is to browse car parks. They're likely to offer free EV charging, and you might even be lucky enough to find one at your workplace.

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What’s the cheapest way to charge my electric vehicle?

The cheapest way to charge your electric vehicle would be to rely completely on free charging points, but this might not be the most convenient. You’ll often find that only slow or fast chargers are free of charge, and you might not fancy hanging around in public for long enough to get a full charge on a regular basis.

Alternatively, a home charger paired with shopping around for the best electricity tariff is a good bet. You can even find out the off-peak times in your area and plan your charging within them to get some discount. You might also consider a specific EV tariff, or even solar panels for some real money-saving energy.

Is it expensive to charge an electric car?

The cost of charging your electric car will depend on a lot of factors, including the model, where you choose to charge it, and how often you’ll need to be charging.

If you’ll be using your car for the school run or daily commute, plus the other errands that come with day-to-day life, you’ll probably find that one charge will do you just fine for the week. This will cost around £15 for a full charge, but this will vary depending on your electricity tariff and model.

As cost-of-living prices rise across the UK, it’s likely that the price of charging your EV will go up. Using our money-saving tips for getting a boost will definitely help you keep within your budget.
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Free electric car charging points in the UK

There are plenty of free charging points across the UK, but always double-check before setting off on your travels.

Supermarkets are often a good bet for free EV charging, but this might change as electric motoring becomes more popular.

Never assume that a car charging point is free to use and always check this before you get started.

Are Aldi electric car charging points free?

Aldi stores in the UK often have electric car charging points to use while you shop.

Some Aldi stores have been known to offer free electric car charging, but you'll need to double-check before plugging in and boosting up.

Not all Aldi stores have charging points that are free to use.

Is electric car charging free at Tesco?

Many Tesco stores across the UK have EV charging points.

While Tesco chargers were previously free to use, they've since implemented a fee for those wanting to plug in.

Is Asda electric car charging free?

Some Asda stores in the UK have electric car charging points for customers to use, but these are on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Unfortunately, you can't currently charge your EV for free at Asda stores.

Does Sainsbury's have free electric car charging?

Sainsbury's launched its ultra-rapid charging network across the UK at the start of 2024. These chargers are not free to use but do accept contactless payment.

When the service launched in January 2024, flat rate charging was priced at 75p per kWh.

Learn more about electric vehicle charging: